In a Rant of a Mood

As usual, the news today pissed me off.  Specifically, the Kentucky County Clerk.  First, she refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples because it went against her religious beliefs.  This got her in trouble because that’s illegal since the Supreme Court ruling, and the court ordered her to start issuing them.  Now, rather than doing her job, she decided to not issue any at all to try and avoid the ruling.

Really?  Are we back in Kindergarten?  That’s like the little kid that pouts when you tell her she can’t just eat the chicken nuggets, she has to eat her vegetables too.  So, she gets pissy and refuses to eat anything.

The Clerk and her friends are arguing that they are exercising their first amendment rights.

That’s bullshit.

First, exercising their free speech is generally, you know, speaking or representing your beliefs.  That right would include saying things like “Same sex marriages offend my religious sensibilities.”  She would be within her rights to say that, as distasteful as that is.  She doesn’t have to like giving out the licenses, she can say that too, HOWEVER, it does not give her the right to deny giving out legal marriage licenses because of the nature of her job.

Look at it like this, if a person runs their own business they have a lot of latitude.  If they want to refuse service to same sex couples, they can do that.  It’s their property, their business, they can make a lot of the rules.  They could have “No Purple Shirt” Wednesdays or something stupid like that.  If they want to look like idiots and lose out on income that’s their choice, stupid or not.  That’s why I’m not mad about the bakery that refused to make a marriage cake for the lesbian couple.  I don’t agree with the owners, I think it’s a stupid decision and I wouldn’t shop there anymore, but I still think that’s their right.

If a person works for a company than they have to abide by the company rules and they have a lot less flexibility.  If the company policies go against a person’s religious beliefs they might not have much choice in the matter, quit or follow the rules.

Even more restricting is working for the government.  Those are jobs that serve the public and they are very inflexible about the law.  They have to be, there’s the whole separation of Church and State, and it has to be fair for everyone involved.  The County Clerk provides services for the County, it’s a government position.

Just imagine going before a Judge and they refuse to sit for your case because they don’t like your religion, or give different sentences for the same crimes.  Or having the county refuse to renew your car registration because you’re handicapped.  Or the police pulling over people they have vendettas against.

Legally, they can’t do those things, they have to put aside whatever personal issues they have and do their jobs professionally.  Or risk legal action.

So, that’s why it’s ILLEGAL for the County Clerk to do what she’s doing, and the worst part is that people support her.  That’s stupid on so many, many levels.  Government officials can’t act like this, it’s opening pandora’s box.  Personal opinions, beliefs, and religion cannot play a role in how officials act or that door swings open and who knows where it goes?  There are reasons why all these laws are in place, to protect all of us from unfair behavior.

While government officials are restricted in how they act the County Clerk does have an option if she following the law makes her uncomfortable…

QUIT!

(Or get fired, or removed, or whatever it is local governments do to get rid of a clerk, which I think should have happened after her first refusal.)

Then she could open a conservative Christian bakery and refuse service to whoever she wants.

But this petulant child act has got to stop.

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14 thoughts on “In a Rant of a Mood

  1. I don’t even think businesses should be be protected. Govnerment or not, it needs to be illegal to refuse to serve people based on a personal bias. I think we had this disagreement before. …..I’m still right.

    • I’m not a huge fan of all “free market” concepts but I think it applies well in this case. The businesses with prejudices will lose out, simply put. If they want to lose the income, maybe even their store, that’s their choice. Or, conversely, if they pick up the conservative crowd then I won’t have to deal with them in my liberal bakery. And trying to force the issue through legislation would just piss people off and make them dig in deeper.

      • OMG. We have had this discussion before, Id. So if Denny’s (or whatever eatery) decided to put a policy in place to refuse service to same sex couples, they should be protected? I think anyone would be within their legal rights to sue that chain and I think the “sue-ers” (can’t retrieve another word right now. Don’t judge.) would and should win.

      • I think they should be able to do whatever they want and suffer the fallout, good or bad. If they’re going to wear their bigotry on their sleeve let the masses decide where to spend their money. Over the years there has been a tremendous change in society’s opinions toward LGBT rights, any business that willingly labels themselves as bigoted will lose out. Of that I’m confident.

        Or if I wanted to take a different spin, should a drunk person that’s refused service at Denny’s be allowed to sue? I think they have the right to determine who they serve and who they don’t. If they use those policies rationally it’s good for the company, if they misuse that ability it’ll be bad for them.

  2. I’m with you on that. However, as you also stated, it IS illegal for the clerk to refuse to issue those licenses… and she should be fired. ‘Nough said. I wonder how she’d feel if she were refused service somewhere because she’s religious?

    I wonder too, where we draw the line at government involvement in what is perceived as personal choice? My mom and I were talking about this yesterday – how dangerous it is that people like this are working in government. But really – on a larger note – the government, and especially all those political candidates, has been involved in and very vocal about abortion – for decades. This is a slippery slope I know, but really, how is it different? How does the “government” decide where to stand on these moral issues? Oh no – I think I opened the box.

    • Exactly, I don’t understand how she has avoided being fired so far. On the other hand, I did some research on clerks for the article and it isn’t clear (without further research) if it’s an elected position or not. Apparently it’s different in different states. So they might not be able to simply fire her, it might require some sort of recall vote, and in Kentucky I’m not sure it’d pass.

      I think it’s different at different levels of politics. If we were to look at the County Clerk her job is straight forward, follow the law. She doesn’t make policy, she’s… a clerk. But then you get to the higher levels, state government, national positions, where policies are decided and legislated on by politicians. Supposedly, that’s why we elect those officials, so we can choose those that best represent us at those high levels. Then there’s the checks and balances between branches so that supposedly that power doesn’t get abused. The problem there is that the American people are so divided on -very specific- issues, so politicians pander to the masses and espouse the things they think will get them elected by their base voters. This results in having very divided politicians and very little gets done.

    • Whenever I see some supposedly religious person that obviously isn’t following what they preach it just reveals the underlying bigotry in a situation like this. It really isn’t about religion, it’s about hate. It’s sad and frustrating. Yet, those are the people who claim their going to ‘heaven’. If that’s true I hope there’s a special wing for hypocrites so the rest of us can avoid them.

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